The seeds for my practice were planted long ago


Photo Credit: CIMMYT Flickr via Compfight cc

Have you ever been drawn to something in your life, only to see it blossom many years later?

Do you wonder what was the purpose behind those seeds being planted?

I checked out classes at SunMoon Yoga Studios in Mankato almost immediately when Mona opened it in 2001.

I had never done yoga before.

I didn’t really know what yoga was.

I was just curious.

So I went to a few classes. Classes had titles with names that were new to me — hatha, vinyasa. I quickly discovered that I enjoyed more of a flow practice. I was a runner and used to motion. At the time I didn’t understand the benefits of slow movement and paying close attention to breath. I will admit, I was “bored” in those slower classes at the time. (Oh, how things have changed thanks to teacher training!).

Around 2002, Mona offered an Ashtanga class. Almost immediately I thought, “this is the class for me.” Ashtanga offered me a major challenge physically. For the first few classes, I was wiped out after the sun salutations. Keep in mind, this is only about 10 minutes into a 90-minute practice! I couldn’t complete all the chaturangas in the sun salutations and was modifying on my knees.

But here’s what kept me coming back: I started to see my strength improve.

Ashtanga is a style of yoga with a set sequence that never changes. One of the things I loved about it right away was how I could see improvement. Week to week, I found myself being able to do more. Soon, I could do all the chaturangas in the sun salutations. Then, all the chaturangas in the standing poses. Then, most of them in the seated poses.

Over the years, my consistency with practicing Ashtanga has waxed and waned. But there was a brief moment of time when I could complete all the chaturangas in the entire series.

And a pose like headstand? For 15 years I had to opt for dolphin pose. Then, one day, I decided to try to get my knees up, and they floated right up. Today I am really, really close to completing a full headstand.

I have much more to say about my Ashtanga journey. Right now it’s poised to go in new directions, and I’m ready to make a serious commitment to study of the practice. In June, I will be completing my 200-RYT training and from there, I want to begin a self-directed study of Ashtanga. I’m starting with a weekend workshop in July at Ashtanga Minneapolis with Angela Jamison.

When I’m on the cusp of something new, I often look to my past to see if there have been signs there all along. I use the past to guide my decisions. I’m convinced my body and spirit knew this in 2002. It led me to Mona’s studio and then to the Ashtanga class.

Can you think of a similar circumstance in your life, when you learned something new but didn’t realize it’s impact until months or years later?

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